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Acura RLX Reviews (Sport Hybrid reviews pg 21)

 
Old 02-25-2013, 04:46 PM
  #121  
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d'oh! forgot about that one...again...not a hot seller.
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Old 02-25-2013, 05:26 PM
  #122  
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Originally Posted by GoHawks View Post
I can't say I disagree with the statements made defending the RLX. The FWD vs RWD should be a non-issue as most people who drive these cars don't push them enough for it to be an issue, but again it comes down to perception.

We can speculate all we want on whether it will sell, but we will have to see. The 2nd gen RL sold very well it's first year or so, and then the decline started.
The 2g RL won Car of the Year in Japan when it first came out. It also won or did well in many comparison tests. It was really competitive when it comes to features, power, handling, and price.

Problem is, other competitors moved on quickly. Lexus came out with a brand new GS. BMW upgraded the 530i into the 535i. E350 received its facelift in 2006 and a new model came out in 2009. Similar things happened to the A6 as well. Infiniti also released a new M model in 2006, a year after the RL came out.

In 2005, the RL had 300hp and was competing with GS300 with 225hp, 530i with 225hp, A6 3.2 with 252hp, and E350 with 268hp. The Infiniti M was irrelevant as there was only the M45 trim with a 340hp V8 engine. Within a few years, GS300 became GS350 with 303hp, 530i first got a power boost to 258hp, then became 535i with 300hp, A6 received its 3.0T engine with 310hp, E350 received direct injection with over 300hp, and Infiniti released a new M with 303hp. Not only that, but under the new SAE standards, the RL was re-rated at 290hp. It went from being class leading to class trailing.

And that was only considering the engine output. In fact, the RL quickly became outdated/uncompetitive in other areas - styling, features, interior space, fuel economy, etc. The Japanese Yen currency exchange rate didn't help things either.

Now that the RLX is made in America, exchange rate shouldn't be much of an issue. This should allow more money to update the car more often to ensure it's competitive. We should also understand that while the previous RL was designed in Japan and was pretty much forced by Honda of Japan to be sold here, that's no longer the case for the new RLX. With all that said, I think the new RLX has a better chance of success. If it doesn't sell well early, adjusting pricing, adding features, adding more trims should be easier to implement.
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Old 02-25-2013, 05:34 PM
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^^My understanding is that the RLX is made in Japan. Is Acura giving consideration to moving its assembly to the U.S.?
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Old 02-25-2013, 05:40 PM
  #124  
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Originally Posted by iforyou View Post
Now that the RLX is made in America, exchange rate shouldn't be much of an issue. This should allow more money to update the car more often to ensure it's competitive. We should also understand that while the previous RL was designed in Japan and was pretty much forced by Honda of Japan to be sold here, that's no longer the case for the new RLX. With all that said, I think the new RLX has a better chance of success. If it doesn't sell well early, adjusting pricing, adding features, adding more trims should be easier to implement.
Saw the window sticker on a PAWS RLX I test drove a few days back; it said made in Saitama Japan.
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Old 02-25-2013, 07:45 PM
  #125  
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I noticed that too that they are built in Japan.... Thought I read all this talk about made in USA?
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Old 02-25-2013, 08:59 PM
  #126  
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Originally Posted by GoHawks View Post
I agree, but a few points:

2. With respect to the 3rd gen TL, that was a beautiful AND more of a youthful design. My brother has an '06 and the car still looks sharp.
I've been thinking about this for a while but have never expressed it. The 3G TL seems to be universally loved on all the automotive forums. It's often held up as an example of an Acura "done right". I'm formulating a theory that many of Acura's current (perceived?) issues stem from the success of that car (and to a lesser extent, the TL before it). Let me explain!

As noted, these cars sold VERY well and were generally loved by the press, owners and on the 'internet'. As I recall, the most common complaint was too many buttons and 'bland' styling. Yet, these sold. Could this have sent the 'wrong' message to Honda management? Especially regarding RWD. What if 2G had failed? Would we have had a FWD 3G? That didn't happen and after the success of these two generations of TL, maybe Honda decided that buyers are OK with FWD and for the 10% we might be missing, we can offer AWD in the 4G.

So here we are. It's probably too late (considering trends) for a new RWD chassis that would need to be in production till 2030 and beyond at Acura volumes to be viable. Thoughts?
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Old 02-25-2013, 09:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Colin View Post
I've been thinking about this for a while but have never expressed it. The 3G TL seems to be universally loved on all the automotive forums. It's often held up as an example of an Acura "done right". I'm formulating a theory that many of Acura's current (perceived?) issues stem from the success of that car (and to a lesser extent, the TL before it). Let me explain!

As noted, these cars sold VERY well and were generally loved by the press, owners and on the 'internet'. As I recall, the most common complaint was too many buttons and 'bland' styling. Yet, these sold. Could this have sent the 'wrong' message to Honda management? Especially regarding RWD. What if 2G had failed? Would we have had a FWD 3G? That didn't happen and after the success of these two generations of TL, maybe Honda decided that buyers are OK with FWD and for the 10% we might be missing, we can offer AWD in the 4G.

So here we are. It's probably too late (considering trends) for a new RWD chassis that would need to be in production till 2030 and beyond at Acura volumes to be viable. Thoughts?
From a performance perspective I think the 4th gen TL could have been just as beloved, especially with the addition of SH-AWD which helped diffuse the FWD argument. Engine output was on par or surpassed most of the other cars in it's class.

There are two reasons IN MY OPINION that it hasn't been as "well loved".

1. The BIGGEST reason was the horrid polarizing beak. The back end wasn't bad and I think it had a nice profile, but that front end was inexcusable.

2. In the several TLs I got as loaners, I felt that Acura had taken a bit of a step back with the interior plastics. I just felt they looked a bit cheaper than the previous generations. If I recall correctly they used more hard plastics with less soft touch materials.

Content-wise the TL had as much or in most cases more than the competition.

The 2nd gen TL was a very dramatic and sportier departure from the relatively bland styling of the 1st gen TL and RL, and with 225 hp they were pretty quick in the day. They then updated that with the Type-S models that bumped up the HP further and firmed up the suspension and added even more content (i.e. memory seats). The biggest black eye from that generation were the issues they had with the self-destructing 5 speed transmissions.

The 3rd gen TL upped the styling even more along with the performance. Each generation was significant restyle over the previous and they all seemed to cater to a more youthful demographic. I would say that holds true even for the 4th gen TL, beak notwithstanding.

The RLX (again IMO) seems to be catering towards an older demographic (read: previous Avalon or Cadillac DTS owners).
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Old 02-26-2013, 02:09 AM
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Old 02-26-2013, 05:37 AM
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Post Colin,

I have had basically the same thought pattern for years. This is the reason that I do not expect Acura to go back to changing their engine layout to have RWD proportions - the TL sold much better without it so they probably see it as unnecessary.

Unfortunately, sometimes it takes failure to make people see their faults and/or prompt change. I think that lackluster sales of the 2nd generation RL instigated the RWD version to be worked on but we all know what happened to that. If the RLX fails, perhaps they will revisit that concept?

Altho I find it humorous when other people claim the Acura brand a failure and should fold (its sales are not that bad overall) but sometimes I do wish that they would fail (more) or get smacked around (like the reviews of the current Civic) to light a fire under them. Unlike some people on here, I would not rejoice in their failures but only sometimes hope for it to necessitate a revolution.

On a more positive note: these reviews prove Acura does listen to an extent. They have clearly addressed all the complaints about too many buttons and cabin noise. PAWs also seems to be their answer to the RWD complaints. Hopefully this will be enough for the RLX to succeed, but honestly there is part of me that wants it to sell poorly so I can get an advance version for a big discount.
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Old 02-26-2013, 05:38 AM
  #130  
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Originally Posted by GoHawks View Post
From a performance perspective I think the 4th gen TL could have been just as beloved, especially with the addition of SH-AWD which helped diffuse the FWD argument. Engine output was on par or surpassed most of the other cars in it's class.

There are two reasons IN MY OPINION that it hasn't been as "well loved".

1. The BIGGEST reason was the horrid polarizing beak. The back end wasn't bad and I think it had a nice profile, but that front end was inexcusable.

2. In the several TLs I got as loaners, I felt that Acura had taken a bit of a step back with the interior plastics. I just felt they looked a bit cheaper than the previous generations. If I recall correctly they used more hard plastics with less soft touch materials.

Content-wise the TL had as much or in most cases more than the competition.

The 2nd gen TL was a very dramatic and sportier departure from the relatively bland styling of the 1st gen TL and RL, and with 225 hp they were pretty quick in the day. They then updated that with the Type-S models that bumped up the HP further and firmed up the suspension and added even more content (i.e. memory seats). The biggest black eye from that generation were the issues they had with the self-destructing 5 speed transmissions.

The 3rd gen TL upped the styling even more along with the performance. Each generation was significant restyle over the previous and they all seemed to cater to a more youthful demographic. I would say that holds true even for the 4th gen TL, beak notwithstanding.

The RLX (again IMO) seems to be catering towards an older demographic (read: previous Avalon or Cadillac DTS owners).
I tend to agree here. The 3G had enough of a sporty elegant style that appeals to the masses without going too far to turn people off. Also if was a great value and offered a solid car with great technology at a price point that was unmatched. I for one did not mind the buttons because they did not look at concentrated as the 4G does. I think the 4G would have been a great success if they had really evolved the 3G styling and not made such a radical departure. I owned numerous 3G TLs and the 4G was a much more solid well built car, but no one would ever know that because once seen many did not want to look at it. Having played with the tech in Lexus, Audi and Infiniti I can tell you Acura is ahead so if they can get the 5G styled well and keep SH-AWD or SH-SH-AWD then they will have a hit again, although the competition is much tighter now than back in the 3G days.
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Old 02-26-2013, 11:32 AM
  #131  
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Originally Posted by JM2010 SH-AWD View Post
^^My understanding is that the RLX is made in Japan. Is Acura giving consideration to moving its assembly to the U.S.?
Originally Posted by NJ06RL View Post
Saw the window sticker on a PAWS RLX I test drove a few days back; it said made in Saitama Japan.
Seems like it is made in Japan still. My bad! Let's hope exchange rate won't hurt the car too much this time around......at least, the RLX is designed for our market now
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Old 02-26-2013, 07:37 PM
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I'm afraid the exchange rate will be a big problem. I know Honda and Acura have lowered their import rate on some models because they can't make money on them. Perhaps Acura contemplates moving RLX production to the US at some point, but who knows?
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Old 02-26-2013, 09:50 PM
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Originally Posted by iforyou View Post
Seems like it is made in Japan still. My bad! Let's hope exchange rate won't hurt the car too much this time around......at least, the RLX is designed for our market now
Originally Posted by JM2010 SH-AWD View Post
I'm afraid the exchange rate will be a big problem. I know Honda and Acura have lowered their import rate on some models because they can't make money on them. Perhaps Acura contemplates moving RLX production to the US at some point, but who knows?
IMO, it's not the rate per se. But rather the rate that the car was designed at vs. the rate it needs to sell at. IOW, it's that change in rate that presents the problem. If you design the car when the yen is 120, and it drops to 80 you're in big trouble. If you design to at 80 and it stays at 80 then you're fine. Of course, Japan Inc. can always do more if the yen was higher from a content to price ratio, but at least you're not losing money from the start.
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Old 02-26-2013, 10:05 PM
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Originally Posted by GoHawks View Post
The 3rd gen TL upped the styling even more along with the performance. Each generation was significant restyle over the previous and they all seemed to cater to a more youthful demographic. I would say that holds true even for the 4th gen TL, beak notwithstanding.

The RLX (again IMO) seems to be catering towards an older demographic (read: previous Avalon or Cadillac DTS owners).
Please understand that I'm not deprecating the 3G. Just saying that it's incredible success may have prompted the "power that be" to decide that all the 'it's-not-RWD-whining' on the internet was just that, 'whining'.

I think we'll look back on 4G in time and see that it never got a fair shake. Yes, the styling was controversial but it was what the 'whiners' wanted, something distinct. But I've been reflecting on this car's life and see that it was launched into serious recession (some might say depression) that was bad enough that they halted production for 3-4 months in the middle of 2009. By the time things started rolling again in 2010, they were rushing out a fix for the grill that prompted many to wait and see. 2011 starts early but gets derailed by the earthquake and tsunami. 2012 showed some signs of recovery, but now there is the 'wait for the new one' chorus followed by 'what about the new Accord...' discussion. Poor car, it never had a chance!
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Old 02-27-2013, 07:18 AM
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1. If a luxury car has wood in the interior, it should have a wood steering wheel and shift knob. Maybe a sport model should offer a carbon fiber looking interior with a leather steering wheel and knob.
2. I prefer a 4 spoke steering wheel because Honda typically assumes that you hold your hands at shoulder height and if you lower the wheel to a more comfortable height then it obstructs the clear view of the guages.
3. Touch screens are a nuisance when needing to focus on the road and every bump diverts your out-stretched arm to the wrong button which then requires a rectification. Touchscreen with the addition of a joystick interface would be a better solution.
4. It's a shame that Acura have embraced the rear turn signals as being red instead of amber. For those people who prefer the red looking tail lights then it is not difficult to make them appear red but when you indicate then it's an amber light. (E.G. Merc S series)
5. No front camera or beep warning? It's a great feature for parking. They have you covered when reversing but not going forwards. That seems like a 50% solution.
6. Does the front passenger seat have the same controls as the drivers seat?
7. The blind spot warning system should have a 5 bar count down indicator. A single light is crude and was OK for the first iteration.
8. Rear seats should fold down. The pass-through is only good for one set of skis.

I have not driven one but I sat in it for a while. I was impressed with its execution and design but I was not impressed the same way that I was when I sat in the RL in 05. It seems like a natural progression and a newer RL but it did not make me want to exchange my RL with no payments for an RLX at 61K for the Advance. The quality was impressive and should wow you if you are coming from a TL but from an RL, it's just a revised version.
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Old 02-28-2013, 05:31 AM
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Acura had to do something. Its flagship RL luxury sedan had become outdated and irrelevant. U.S. sales shriveled from a high of 17,572 8 years ago to just 379 last year. The 2014 Acura RLX sedan that arrives in showrooms next month makes up for a lot of lost time in the highly competitive midsize luxury segment with new styling, better performance and a load of unique features, including striking "jewel eye" multi-faceted headlights and a pioneering all-wheel steering system.

With 2 inches added to both width and wheelbase, the RLX has more interior space. Acura claims the RLX has more rear legroom than BMW's 535i, Lexus's GS350 and Audi's A6. Starting at just under $50,000, it costs less.

The striking LED headlights have 10 small separate projector pockets on each side. Up close they look dramatic, like sparkling diamonds, but from a distance, the lights blend to look like a single bright headlamp.

The interior is not opulent, but it is comfortable, practical and appointed with more leather, wood, metal and higher quality soft touch materials. The console is dominated by 2 video screens, the top 1 for standard backup camera and optional navigation display. The bottom screen is touch-sensitive for operation of climate and infotainment. Bluetooth connectivity for hands-free cell phone operation is standard.

The center storage console has an ingenious hinge that allows easy opening of the cover in opposite directions from the driver's side or the passenger side. New 12-way, power adjustable, heated front seats are more deeply bolstered and supportive with pneumatic lumbar supports. Seat ventilation is optional.

There is no engine noise in the cabin, unless you push the accelerator to call on the new 3.5-liter V-6's ample 310 horsepower. Even then, the sound of the engine, wind and tire noise is far improved over the 3.7-liter V-6 powered 2012 RL I drove for comparison. The RLX comes with 18-inch alloy wheels with clever chambers inside that are designed to reduce tire noise.

This is Acura's 1st direct injected engine. It not only is lighter and more powerful than the RL's, it also boosts fuel economy to 20 mpg in the city and a class-leading 31 mpg on the highway. That's an increase of 4 mpg in the city and 7 on the highway.

Faster and more efficient

Fuel economy is additionally aided by cylinder deactivation. I could not tell when the V-6 switched to just 3 cylinders while cruising.

When you aren't in the mood for saving fuel and feel like taking advantage of the RLX's improved suspension geometry, there is a "sport" mode that dramatically increases throttle reaction and makes the steering feel more heavily weighted. Lighter and stronger steel, along with aluminum hood, fenders and doors make the RLX about 75 pounds lighter and more nimble than the old RL.

A higher horsepower version of the RLX comes later this year with all-wheel drive powered by a hybrid engine and combination of dual electric motors. Until then, front-wheel drive, the strong V-6 and a smooth shifting 6-speed transmission make up the only available drive train.

Another new technology is allowing Acura to change the very character of its ride. Traditionally, Acuras ride stiff, a nod to their motor sports heritage. But the RLX has the same kind of new dual valve dampers that made the compact 2013 Acura RDX crossover so smooth when introduced last year. The initial ride is compliant. Drive aggressively and the secondary valves cause the dampers to become stiffer. It is a more affordable way to achieve the dual personality displayed by more expensive cars with electronically adjustable dampers.

An optional lane-keeping system takes the RLX's standard forward-looking camera-based lane departure warning system into the realm of assisted driving. When you come close to a stripe at the edge of a lane, the electronic power steering nudges the car toward the center. To test this, I let the car guide itself, hands-free, through a couple of sweeping expressway turns. After many miles of receiving no human steering inputs, a warning appeared in the driver information screen reminding me that "steering is required." It must have been a lawyer-inspired warning because obviously my steering hadn't been necessary for miles. Auto steering did not work in anything but wide turns.

All wheel steering

The rear wheels turn up to 1.8 degrees the opposite direction from the front wheels. This conjured images of a tiller operator steering the back wheels of a long fire truck. Cool when you are a kid, but radical for a luxury sedan. However, Acura's Precision All Wheel Steering is subtle. You don't feel it and I couldn't see the rear wheels move when I followed another RLX closely.

Acura says the system helps reduce natural under steer in the front-wheel-drive car. It definitely makes the large car handle as though it is much smaller. The rear wheels also toe inward to help keep the car straight whenever you brake hard.

Before taking the RLX for a long drive on a variety of highways, twisting roads and city streets, several of Acura's Tokyo-based engineers crawled with me on our hands and knees so I could see the electronic actuator motors that turn the rear wheels in response to computer analysis of the driver's steering wheel inputs. They insisted that the added electric motors and rear wheel movement won't require special maintenance or alignment.

I also tested the RLX on a portion of Sonoma Raceway north of San Francisco that included the IndyCar and NASCAR track's big downhill carousel turns. It was raining and I inadvertently put the big car into a long 4-wheel slide. I learned firsthand how balanced the RLX feels, how much more nimble and small-car-like it reacts, and how easily it recovers when pushed too far.

When asked by my new engineering friends if I felt Takaburi, which in Japanese means excitement, they needed no translator when they saw my grin . They knew I had.

[email protected]
(313) 222-2548

2014 Acura RLX

Price: $49,345 to $61,345 (includes $895 delivery)
Type: Full-size, 5-passenger luxury sedan with front-wheel drive
Engine: 3.5-liter V-6 cylinder
Power: 310 horsepower; 272 pound-feet of torque
Transmission: 6-speed automatic
EPA gas mileage: 20 mpg city / 31 mpg highway

Report Card

Overall: HHH
Interior: Comfortable, quiet and logical
Exterior: Acura’s polarizing design motif still includes the big metal nose shield
Performance: All-wheel steering makes the big car handle as though it is smaller
Pros: Competitive interior size, extraordinary technology and outstanding fuel economy
Cons: At competitive disadvantage until hybrid all-wheel-drive option arrives this year
Grading Scale: HHHHExcellent HHHGood HHFair HPoor
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Old 03-03-2013, 06:16 AM
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Smile Finally Saw 1 in the Metal

Got my oil changed this weekend and took the long 2.5 hour wait as a chance to stare at the RLX. They had a white/tan tech & grey/black advance. 1st impression is that this car does look better than it did on the net; pics made it look a little bland but definitely has more presence in real life. I was a bit worried that the back was too bland but seeing the chrome around the reflectors and just how large and nice looking the rear lights with the LED tubing was changed my mind. This this is also not as large on the exterior as pictures would suggest.

The jewel eyes were not as gaudy as I thought they might be. They put a lot of detail in the chrome that goes around each one that makes it look nice; would look better if they were tiered/staggered instead of stacked on top of each other tho. On the downside, they all come on at once, not in sequential order the way that they did in the NSX commercial. I do wish that the lower amber lights were just blinkers and not always on, seems like overkill with the jewel eyes.

The front and the side definitely had enough bling-bling going on to make it look upscale but the profile was a bit bland. Chrome door handles would help - hopefully the SH-AWD version will have them. They had the side molding on 1 of the RLXs, not sure if it helped or looked unnecessarily tacked on.

From the outside I definitely like it better than the Infiniti M37 & maybe the GS350 - have not seen enough of those yet to have a solid opinion.

1st thing I noticed about the interior was that it did not have the typical new car smell. The salesman said that the different smell was from all the leather & not the plastic as with other cars. I like the chrome surround gauges but as usual, wish Acura would use the 0 @ the 6 o'clock position like my TSX. The center stack still bothers me to no end - all I see is a pregnant stomach. With Acura stressing interior space so much, this seems like it would counter that effort. The black interior made this part look less bulbous.

The wood was a very dark brown so it was something I could live with, as someone who generally does not care for interior wood. Not sure if it was real (all wood trim, real or not, looks like shiny plastic to me) but the silver trim pieces were not metal, speaking of which, the Krell speaker covers did not look as cheap as they did in pics. Nice to see it had a cup holder cover unlike a lot of new cars.

The rear side shades were pretty cool. Even tho they were manual, as you raised the main part, the mini part was automatically covered by a part that juts out from the side. Hard to explain but something you should play with when you see 1.

There was a fit and finish problem with the plastic pieces underneath the front part of the driver's side - they were not snapped together properly so there was a gap. Easily fixed I am sure but really should not have made it to the showroom floor in that condition. Also, the top padding of the front seats' side bolsters should have been longer - it stopped well before it hit the crease/fold where it meets the top part of the chair and looked bad. Cannot find a pic of it on the web - this is the closest but in this pic the top part does not cut nearly as short as it did in the 2 cars I saw:


Speaking of seats, Acura has used the same basic design for years, I wish that they would add some more detail or pizazz like other luxury brands. Same goes for the door switches but the RLX did add a nice chrome strip to each window button.

Salesman offered me a drive but I turned it down because I knew I would not be buying 1 until we know what the hybrid version will be like, so did not want to waste his time. Of course, if I knew that my oil changes was going to take 2.5 hours I probably would have done it. I do wish I had listened to the Krell system tho ... next time.

Overall a good solid car, perhaps not a great car but hopefully it will sell for Acura. The salesman said that there was a lot of interest & while I was there, there was a very excited gentleman looking at it as well.
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Old 03-04-2013, 12:23 PM
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Old 03-04-2013, 01:19 PM
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Old 03-04-2013, 02:05 PM
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Originally Posted by TSX69 View Post
That review was horrible IMO.
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Old 03-04-2013, 02:57 PM
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^^^ That is problem with the internet these days.....Anyone can "review cars"...Seriously, this is the "nicest Honda Accord"?!?! For God sake, it is amazing what crap some misinformed, UNEDUCATED and inarticulate people will spew. I am not sure why there is so much hate for Acura. Yes, companies like Audi and BMW have had that technology for a while but guess what, at least with Acura, it will WORK!
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Old 03-04-2013, 03:24 PM
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Originally Posted by weather View Post
^^^ That is problem with the internet these days.....Anyone can "review cars"...Seriously, this is the "nicest Honda Accord"?!?! For God sake, it is amazing what crap some misinformed, UNEDUCATED and inarticulate people will spew. I am not sure why there is so much hate for Acura. Yes, companies like Audi and BMW have had that technology for a while but guess what, at least with Acura, it will WORK!
I agree, people have complained that Acura is slow/haven't incorporated new technology into their cars, then they do, and then people moan about how other cars have done it first
There is ALOT of hate against Acura and even Honda on the internet. Some of it is deserved, but a lot of it is senseless and baseless BS they pull out of their rear.
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Old 03-04-2013, 04:52 PM
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The Autoweek reviewer might know cars, but he doesn't seem to know the details of electronics. For example, Infiniti might have had Intelligent Brake Assist before the RLX, but the RLX's version is more advanced. In fact, Infiniti's is more on par with the system on the old RL, circa 2009.
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Old 03-04-2013, 05:15 PM
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I won't attempt to defend the Autoweek review, as the guy was lame, but what this shows is that Acura needs to step up their game, sure the RLX may be a nice car, but they really needed a home run something that the reviewers would say wow to. I sure hope the AWD versin has something to wow people with, some fascia and tail sportiness and wheels would be nice and some really glue on rails handling.
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Old 03-04-2013, 05:29 PM
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Actually, Acura needs to make profits. If they can't make a profit off of a "wow" luxury sedan, then it might not be prudent to attempt. I don't think a mid sized sedan can be a halo catlike the NSX will be

In other words, Acura could have gone the same route as Infiniti did with the current-generation M, but would that really help Acura's bottom line?
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Old 03-04-2013, 05:51 PM
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Originally Posted by KeithL View Post
...but they really needed a home run something that the reviewers would say wow to.
I couldn't agree more with you more on this statement...I really do! That being said, we all know that once you have a bad reputation (or a stigma), its so hard to shake off. Lets just hope that people can leave their "bias" away when they review cars and can look at them objectively so they can inform the people who are turning to them for honest to goodness advice. Enough with the prejudice and please report on facts....

We all know everyone is "ga ga" for BMW and I think BMW could grab a Toyota corrola, just remove the word Toyota on the back of the trunk and replace it with BMW and they would go crazy on how elegant the design truly is, how great the interior is, and lets not forget the amazing performance (with that 4 speed transmission that is geared perfectly to extract the most out of the engine)
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Old 03-04-2013, 06:32 PM
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Acura doesn't have a bad reputation. It's just that people are brand oriented. And once a car has a base price over $45,000 USD, it is all about the brand.
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Old 03-04-2013, 06:36 PM
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^^ You are correct, sometime I chose the wrong choice of words. Indeed, Acura is praised for its reliability and when I meant a "bad reputation", I didn't mean it in that aspect. I meant it in a "non luxury" way....It seems that regardless how good Acura is trying to bring its image up, they like to comment on the fact that it doesn't have a V8 or a rear wheel drive plateform or that its just a expensive Honda. Its almost like the luxury market is a "boys club" and they will not let Acura come in and play
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Old 03-04-2013, 06:40 PM
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It doesn't sound like many reviewers truly know how advanced p-aws (among all the technology) actually is. Yes rear steer has been around for quite sometime and if I've been reading correctly, infinity only offers a setup that is in phase with the with the front. Acura/Honda is the first with a setup that can fully act independently to the front when situation arises but mostly everyone here knows this. I just feel people read the the spec sheet but don't give themselves the opportunity look deeper to see what makes a certain aspect different from the opposition.

Last edited by Jerzyboi; 03-04-2013 at 06:42 PM. Reason: slight clarification
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Old 03-04-2013, 07:05 PM
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Originally Posted by weather View Post
^^ You are correct, sometime I chose the wrong choice of words. Indeed, Acura is praised for its reliability and when I meant a "bad reputation", I didn't mean it in that aspect. I meant it in a "non luxury" way....It seems that regardless how good Acura is trying to bring its image up, they like to comment on the fact that it doesn't have a V8 or a rear wheel drive plateform or that its just a expensive Honda. Its almost like the luxury market is a "boys club" and they will not let Acura come in and play
I agree with you fully. It's just that Infiniti played by the "boys' club" rules. They made an excellent RWD sedan with an optional V8 yet Infiniti still isn't part of the club. The excellent Infiniti M is still a poor seller. Why? And why should Acura spend a substantial amount of capital for a sedan that the club still won't respect? At least the RLX's technology can trickle down to other Acuras and Hondas.
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Old 03-04-2013, 07:11 PM
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your correct TSX69, why spend that substantial capital for minimal return? I wouldn't be surprised if the RLX is exactly what former and current customers wanted. Not everyone cares too much about hp,drivetrain layout,etc.
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Old 03-04-2013, 07:46 PM
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Originally Posted by jhr3uva90 View Post
Acura doesn't have a bad reputation. It's just that people are brand oriented. And once a car has a base price over $45,000 USD, it is all about the brand.
How on earth can Acura fix this brand recognition problem, especially after Honda had explicitly said the Acura brand would no longer go after the top-tier recognized true luxury brands ?
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Old 03-04-2013, 08:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Jerzyboi View Post
It doesn't sound like many reviewers truly know how advanced p-aws (among all the technology) actually is. Yes rear steer has been around for quite sometime and if I've been reading correctly, infinity only offers a setup that is in phase with the with the front. Acura/Honda is the first with a setup that can fully act independently to the front when situation arises but mostly everyone here knows this. I just feel people read the the spec sheet but don't give themselves the opportunity look deeper to see what makes a certain aspect different from the opposition.
I have said this before, my M37 has 4 wheels steering and I do not find it to make much of a noticeable difference if any at all. Honestly, either lower the price of the car and get rid of it or give me some other much more useful items in its place.
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Old 03-04-2013, 08:10 PM
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@ KeithL
are you speaking about the M or in general?
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Old 03-04-2013, 09:53 PM
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Lightbulb Cr


Acura's redesigned RLX sedan is a rolling example of the challenges faced by Honda's luxury brand. We drove an RLX press car to get a 1st impression.

Like most other Acuras, the RLX aims to give you a lot for your money. (The compact ILX is a notable exception to this rule.) Compared to the midsized luxury sedan competition, such as the Audi A6 or Mercedes-Benz E-Class, the RLX is positively spacious inside. Generous rear leg room answers 1 of our biggest complaints of the RLX's predecessor, the RL.

Acura also aimed to make the car easy and approachable to drive. A big part of that: relatively simple controls for a luxury marque.

Honda being Honda, efficiency plays a big role here, too. Even though the RLX has only 6 six forward gears in its automatic transmission, compared to the economy-benefitting 8 in many rivals, Acura claims best-in-class fuel economy. The upcoming hybrid all-wheel-drive version should be an interesting mix of power, traction, and economy.

All of this sounds good—solid, upstanding citizen-type of stuff. But there's a reason why most luxury car brands strive to emulate rapidly-growing Audi, who manages to build appealing sedans that are entertaining-to-drive, comfortable, stylish, and look very contemporary and "now."

Acura is struggling to find that panache, and it's hard to say that the RLX will provide it. Styling is rather conservative. While it thankfully lacks the craziness of some recent Acura flights of fancy (i.e., giant chrome grilles that look like predator bird beaks, the ZDX), the RLX also fails to stand out.

1st impressions? The driving experience doesn't yank at our heartstrings. For its faults, the outgoing RL was an engaging car to drive, with communicative steering. The RLX doesn't provide that, despite the hyped P-AWS 4-wheel-steering system.

Don't get me wrong - not all cars need to be sporty, Nürburgring-tuned sports sedans. That said, the RLX's ride doesn't have the composure and isolation you'd want from a $55,000 luxury sedan. You can blend entertaining-but-not-edgy dynamics and a comfortable ride; even the much-lower-priced 2013 Lincoln MKZ I drove this past weekend achieved that.

The RLX also faces a big challenge from cars like the Chrysler 300, Hyundai Azera, Hyundai Genesis, and Toyota Avalon. If you skip the Acura's optional high-tech features, like its impressive Krell audio system and the active safety equipment, the RLX doesn't offer much more than those $40,000 sedans. The RLX lacks some increasingly commonplace luxury features like a heated steering wheel, or it forces you to buy the top $60,000 version to get ventilated seats—something you can get on a $28,000 Kia Optima.

Sure, you could make a similar argument about dollar-for-value with an A6, BMW 5 Series, E-Class, or Lexus GS. But these cars manage to feel more special, which is important for helping buyers part with such a sizable wad of cash. They also offer all-wheel-drive, nearly ubiquitous on upscale cars in snowy regions like the Northeast, for not much more money. The RLX will force you to buy the hybrid version—the equivalent of rivals' V8 models—to get 4 driven wheels.

According to Bloomberg, Honda is investing 1 billion dollars to bring Acura up to speed. That sounds like a lot of money, but given that Ford spent $3 billion to develop the 1996 Taurus, it really isn't. (Ford will probably spend quite a bit more than a billion to rebuild the Lincoln brand.)

Maybe Honda, an efficient company, can pull it off. We'll see. But it's telling that the highest-scoring Acura currently in our Ratings is the MDX sport-utility-vehicle—a design introduced for 2007 whose replacement will be revealed at the New York auto show next month.

Brand-image issues aside, we'll find how the RLX scores in the cold, hard numbers of Consumer Reports' test program soon. The RLX goes on sale March 15, and we'll be purchasing 1 of our own to test here at our track.
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Old 03-04-2013, 10:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Edward'TLS View Post
How on earth can Acura fix this brand recognition problem, especially after Honda had explicitly said the Acura brand would no longer go after the top-tier recognized true luxury brands ?
Is it worth the billions of dollars it would take to become top tier? The Euro-Zone is in crisis and the USA is in sequestration. The number of people who can afford "'tier one" is shrinking. In addition, Asian cars just don't get the same level of respect from car enthusiasts or brand whores as European cars.

Infiniti is trying, to no avail. Hyundai is trying, with limited success. Why should Honda/Acura push for tier one, when those resources can go into other areas such as alternative fuels or lower emissions?
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Old 03-04-2013, 10:46 PM
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Originally Posted by TSX69 View Post

1st impressions? The driving experience doesn't yank at our heartstrings. For its faults, the outgoing RL was an engaging car to drive, with communicative steering. The RLX doesn't provide that, despite the hyped P-AWS 4-wheel-steering system.
Sounds like a judgement call to me. Besides, Lexus rarely thrills car reviewers either, yet they sell well. It is all about the brand, just like any other consumer product.
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Old 03-05-2013, 12:04 AM
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Originally Posted by jhr3uva90 View Post
Is it worth the billions of dollars it would take to become top tier? The Euro-Zone is in crisis and the USA is in sequestration. The number of people who can afford "'tier one" is shrinking. In addition, Asian cars just don't get the same level of respect from car enthusiasts or brand whores as European cars.

Infiniti is trying, to no avail. Hyundai is trying, with limited success. Why should Honda/Acura push for tier one, when those resources can go into other areas such as alternative fuels or lower emissions?
Do you know what the major problem Acura has been facing since day 1 ? It is having big trouble selling any sedan above the $50K mark (a.k.a. the 2G RL).

VW was in the same boat once, with the Phaeton carrying a $55K starting price back in 2002. Needless to say, the premium VW sedan was axed after three disastrous model years.

Car buyers are finding it hard to justify paying $50+K for a premium sedan that doesn't get stamped with a recognized "top-tier" luxury brand name.

On the other hand, all those "top-tier" recognized luxury brands are having no trouble moving $50+K sedans, and are even adding more and more $50+K sedans to their line-ups.

With V8 and RWD, Lexus has succeeded in reaching the "top-tier" luxury brand arena.

No "Tier-1" brand recognition, no $50+K sedan will sell. This is exactly what the below-top-tier Acura brand is still facing now.
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Old 03-05-2013, 12:17 AM
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Lexus is in the top tier of sales, but they generally don't sell a lot of cars over $50K. Their top selling vehicle is the RX SUV, which is FWD by default and has a starting price way below $50K. Their top selling sedan is the ES, another FWD car.

But I do agree that car buyers are increasingly unwilling to buy non-big brand cars that cost over $50K. But guess what? There is no more room for any more tier one brand names. Why? Because the market for $50K+ cars is shrinking, and those folks who can buy (more likely lease) those cars have already chosen the brands they want and don't want to consider news ones. It's like every other luxury goods. A woman who likes Tiffany's is not going to choose some other "up and coming" store that is "similar" to Tiffany's no matter how good their products are. A customer who like Prada or Louis Vuitton is not going to choose an "up and coming" brand that is "similar," no matter how good their products are. That's why luxury brands are consolidating instead of expanding. Trust me, I work for a subsidiary of one of those luxury brands.

Honda is better off making sure Acura is the king of the second tier. They need to make sure they keep Cadillac, Lincoln, Infiniti and the other second-tier brands in check. It is too late for them to try to catch the top tier, and it would cost them way more than $1 billion (USD) to try.
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Old 03-05-2013, 05:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Jerzyboi View Post
@ KeithL
are you speaking about the M or in general?
My M37 has 4WS, I will admit I do not believe it is as fully advanced as the RLX, but regardless I either do not push the car hard enough to notice or just don't notice the effects of it.
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